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Guru Studio Names Toy State as Master Toy Partner for Netflix Series

Guru Studios named Toy State as its master toy licensee for its Netflix Original preschool animated series, True and the Rainbow Kingdom. The deal was brokered by Guru's licensing agency, Brand Central.
Toy State will create a robust product line featuring figures, role play, plush, play sets, and dolls, marking a major expansion into new product categories as part of the company's overall global growth strategy. Read more…

Disney Launches Star Wars AR Event During Force Friday II

Following the global response to Force Friday in 2015, Disney and Lucasfilm will launch Find the Force during Force Friday II. The global augmented reality event will commemorate the worldwide launch of new products inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Read more…

Jazwares' Miffy Toy Line Expands at Walmart

Wamart will roll out additional Miffy toys, from Jazwares, later this month. The toys debuted in July and are based on the Nick Jr. show, Miffy's Adventures: Big and Small.
Additional products include Miffy's House play set, which comes with Miffy and Melanie figures and more than 11 accessories; Miffy large plush with sounds; and more than six styles of Miffy figures.
Toys released earlier this summer include Miffy 3-inch Family Multipack, Miffy Little Red Place, Miffy Little Blue Car, and a 6-inch Miffy, Melanie, and Snuffy plush.

Hasbro, TripAdvisor Partner to Add Vacations to The Game of Life

Hasbro Inc. teamed up with TripAdvisor to add vacations to The Game of Life game. For the first time in the board game's 60-year history, players will be encouraged to choose their dream destinations with vacation cards inspired by some of TripAdvisor's top-ranked family destinations and activities.
The Game of Life's new vacation card options includes a ski trip, a beach day in Punta Cana, hiking the Great Wall of China, and visiting the Eiffel Tower. To celebrate the collaboration, a recent survey conducted by TripAdvisor illustrated just how important not just travel—but family travel—is to consumers.  Of respondents surveyed, 86 percent say taking vacation is an essential part of life; 88 percent say vacations enhanced their lives; and more than half feel happier, rejuvenated, and closer with their families after taking a family vacation.
The Game of Life with the vacation updates will be available at most major retailers nationwide and on this August.

NRF Says Parents Are Holding Off on Back-to-School Shopping

The average family with children in grades K-12 had completed only 45 percent of their shopping as of early August, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The number is down from a peak of 52 percent at the same time in 2013 and 48 percent last year, and the lowest level since 40 percent in 2012. Read more…

American Girl Releases Newest BeForever Character

American Girl released its newest BeForever character, Nanea Mitchell. Nanea is a Hawaiian girl growing up on the island of Oahu during the attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S.'s entry into World War Two.
The Nanea collection features an 18-inch doll with an all-new face mold, hazel eyes, dark brown hair, and several 1940s-era Hawaiian-inspired doll outfits and Nanea-inspired apparel for girls. To help ensure the historical accuracy and cultural authenticity of Nanea's story and products, American Girl worked closely with an advisory board that provided their expertise in Hawaiian culture, language, and history. Read more…

NPD Reports July 2017 Video Game Sales

Total industry spending for video game hardware, software, and accessories from July 2 to July 29, 2017 increased 19 percent to $588 million compared to last year, according to analysis from The NPD Group.
Video games hardware sales compared to the same period last year increased 29 percent from $142 million last year to $182 million this year; video games software increased 14 percent from $224 million last year to $263 million this year; and video games accessories increased 9 percent from $118 million last year to $129 million this year.
The top 10 games year-to-date based on dollar sales in July across all platforms are Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, For Honor, Grand Theft Auto V, Horizon Zero Down, Injustice 2, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, NBA 2K17, and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

August 24, 2017
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